Whenever you come across an opportunity to get some laps in you should use it to the fullest, because swimming is one of the best whole-body exercises available.
Here’s what swimming can do for you.
Improve heart and lung health
Immersing yourself in water slows your heart rate, and exercising your muscles contributes to sustaining a lower resting heart rate.
Studies have shown consistent swimming reduces blood pressure and boosts circulation for better oxygen and nutrient flow.
Exercise of any kind forces deeper breathing and expands lung capacity. Swimming forces you to time your breathing and bring in more air for the time you’re submerged, which builds lung endurance over time. This helps everyone, including people with asthma and other lung conditions.
The water in a pool or lake serves as a form of resistance to push your body against, so swimming is that rare cardio exercise that also is a great form of strength training.
It won’t build muscle as quickly as weightlifting, but the lack of stress on your joints helps to protect them and ensure you’re able to participate in all forms of fitness activity far into your future. Just remember to vary and intensify your routine if your goal is to build muscle mass.
Make you happy
Movement helps create and move endorphins throughout your body and into your brain. Just slipping into the water is a great stress-buster because it literally takes a load off your feet.
Many people feel they’re transported into a mellow, watery world where they can escape momentarily from whatever is distressing them on dry land. This is especially true for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and other ailments.
Build up your joints
Swimming and other water-based exercises are tremendous for many people with joint injuries or disorders like arthritis. They allow people to move without pain and gain more strength and confidence for putting more weight on them for everyday activities.
Researchers have found swimming has real benefits, as in one study where people with osteoarthritis had less stiffness and pain, along with increased strength, after swimming for 45 minutes three days a week over three months.
Slim you down
Swimming’s full-body workout is one of the most effective you can achieve, and the more you move the more calories you burn, so it’s not surprising that it’s great for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Depending on a number of factors including the type of stroke you’re swimming, it can burn about the same amount of calories as running while providing a low-impact activity in an environment many people find more enticing than a sidewalk or treadmill.